WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
I'm overjoyed I will be performing at Edinburgh Fringe for the first time and I'm so excited that we've got offered a spot to perform The Return at the Pleasance Courtyard. However, with the funding available for the Arts being so minimal we need your help to be able to share The Return with wide audiences at the Fringe. We are lucky that some of the initial costs have been covered but as you might know, taking a show to the Fringe and making the most of it, is very expensive and we need your support. Any funding raised through Crowdfunder will be used for -
Venue's technical support
We hope that you can contribute to the quality of this project by helping it to be presented in its best light and to reach its full potential.
ABOUT THE RETURN
The beaches are lovely. Remembering is crass, embarrassing, and in poor taste. But to remember is to return. If we cannot return, where do we start from?
The story, based on experience of living in Croatia during the breakup of former Yugoslavia is fragmented and collaged. It unveils an aspect of a family history, explores the surreal circumstances around a conflict building up and what goes into surviving it. Combining movement, storytelling, and poetry, this profoundly personal story investigates how living through war has affected where Natasha is now.
The show has been described as “breath-taking, striking, utterly engrossing” ★★★★★ (Everything Theatre) - read review and “rich, compelling...an eyeopener” (The Spy in the Stalls)
“The Return evokes a plethora of triggers and questions surrounding personal journey and influences of who we are with the physical nature of the performance.” (The Reviews Hub)
“We have been very impressed with Natasha’s artistry, bravery, and satirical sense of humour in creating this show, using her own personal experiences to bring to light the consequences of an atrocious war in recent European history, which of course resonates strongly with current events in Ukraine.” - Amy Clare Tasker, Co-director at Voila! Europe Festival
"Touching visual theatre, with a deadpan humour." - Audience feedback
"Really thought provoking, immersive and, amongst many other things, a rare ‘first hand’ insight into the more subtle consequences of war." – Audience feedback
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Performer: Natasha Stanic Mann - I’m a performer and theatre maker originally from Croatia, based in London. I combine spoken word, movement and digital art in my work. I have collaborated on projects with different artists and companies such as SDNA, Theatralia, Desperate Artwives and created solo work based on a cross-disciplinary approach. I founded Studio Lila and curated a Festival of Visual Theatre Labin in Croatia, which ran for eight years and hosted many renowned companies from Europe and Australia. Most recently, I’ve been working on a one-woman show - The Return, which I conceived, wrote and devised with a creative team.
Lighting Designer: Josephine Tremelling is a concept driven lighting designer with a particular interest in movement and performance art and currently growing specialism in corporeal mime. She is a lighting designer and performer in her second Ephemeral Ensemble production and also tours with Theatre RE as a relighter and production manager on ‘BIRTH’ and ‘The Nature of Forgetting’. She is a production manager on Theatre RE's newest production 'Bluebelle'.
Sound Designer: Chris Prosho is a London based audio technician and sound designer. Starting out playing in bands from a young age, Chris then started mixing for local bands. This progressed to mixing theatre shows for several years. He toured internationally with the production - 'Golem' by the renowned theatre company 1927 and worked at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Director: Andres Velasquez is a freelance performer, director and theatre maker with training from Teatro Libre de Bogota and the International School of Corporeal Mime in London. He is a longterm collaborator of critically acclaimed and internationally renowned companies including 1927 and Gecko Theatre, as well as Theatre Re for whom he performed in ‘Nature of Forgetting’ and ‘Birth’. He has been a co-director for multiple shows for the Catalan company Escultores del Aire in Barcelona, and just before pandemic, performed in the show ‘Hypnagogia’ by Finnish director Kauri Honkakoski at Jackson’s Lane in London. Andres is currently working as an Assistant Director on the Gecko’s latest production 'KIN'. He is also collaborating with multicultural theatre company Ephemeral Ensamble on devising and performing in their new show ‘Rewind’, as well as working on his own solo performance ‘Moon Man’.
Producer: Dahna Borojević is an international producer from Croatia, based in London since 2018 where she has moved to pursue an international career in theatre production after graduating at Mountview Academy with an MA in Creative Producing with Distinction. Dahna has been working with the internationally acclaimed Daska Theatre, producing their show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016, as well as facilitating and bringing their educational children’s show about the importance of water to Camden People's Theatre. Before moving to London, Dahna worked as Ulysses Theatre associate on their international festival on the Island of Brijuni in Croatia. In 2019, she produced Steve Waters’ play '48/52', about the impacts of Brexit, which had a successful run at Drayton Arms Theatre. She was Assistant Producer on a weekend event at the Royal Court Theatre and worked at The Coronet Theatre, as a Development and Marketing Assistant.
WHY THE RETURN
I always felt confused when asked about the war in former Yugoslavia, in the 90's. I was in my early 20's then and I was studying in Zagreb. My life on the surface level was not disrupted, I experienced an air raid once only, I didn't lose a family member, or a friend and I always felt lucky because of that. The confusion was about not understanding how living through this war and the disappearance of a country that I knew was my own country, had affected me. In the process of writing and devising this show I became aware how sensitised I'm to a situation where people are not able to hear the other side's point of view and I worry things will go down the rabbit hole fast - especially if this is fuelled by politicians' divisive rhetoric; unwilling to look for a compromise. The current sad events in Ukraine make me fear how many people from different generations will have to process this same traumatic experience; each of them in their own way.
We hope that bringing the show to the Edinburgh Fringe will allow for this story to be heard by many people and open future opportunities to perform and tour inter/nationally.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this project and we hope you are able to support us!